We will start the discussion by taking a bold stand. The real strength of sales and marketing lies in public relations. Allow us to expound on this point a little bit.
If we are to define marketing, it is all about creating brand visibility. Sales are about getting a customer to buy the product.
Now, the linkage between the two departments is pretty clear to see. The chances of people buying a product significantly improve if they know about the brand.
Yet, it is not that simple. You see, you could shout about your brand from the mountain tops. Every media could carry brand-related messaging. You can spend a significant amount on advertising.
Yet, the company will not realize any return on investment (ROI). Do you want to know why? Simply put, the marketing team is not tapping into one very critical element: TRUST.
People must trust your brand to buy. 81 percent of shoppers will buy from a brand they trust. Depending on the one or two individuals who love to experiment with different brands will not sustain you.
That is where public relations comes in. Read on to understand how to boost sales through public relations.
The role of PR in sales development
Sales development is the intermediary between marketing and sales. The role of the teams is leads generation and qualification. Please note, the sales development reps (SDR) do not have the role of closing sales. That is for the sales department.
Unfortunately, many companies lump the sales development role with sales. That adds to the workload of the team leading to inefficiencies. Having a full-time sales development team is critical.
But, smaller companies may not be able to afford the extra resource. In this case, there is a solution in outsourced sales development services. These companies take over the lead generation and qualification job by carrying out your strategies through their tested methods.
Additionally, these companies can also take over content development, meeting arrangement, and audience design. It frees up the in-house team to concentrate on conversions.
The SDR has the important role of connecting with customers. They must nurture relationships to build trust.
That is where PR can make a difference. You see, salespeople have a bad reputation because of one thing. They tend to focus solely on selling. That approach can put off potential customers.
PR, on the other hand, is subtle. The teams use tactics that tap into the emotional part of customers first. That is why PR strategies like reviews and testimonials really work. And that comes in the form of providing value without mentioning the product attributes.
Positive connections lead to greater credibility and, ultimately, long-term trust. Think about it this way. Who would you trust more, a happy customer or a manufacturing company talking about a product?
1. Achieve organic brand presence with PR
PR does not depend on paid media to build brand visibility. The practitioners look for effective ways to reach potential customers. It starts with a good understanding of customers, including the media and content they consume.
Powerful PR tactics include blogs, social media, and earned media. Earned media could be an editorial piece, interview opportunity, or press release on print or electronic platforms.
Earned media is especially powerful because it is a third-party endorsement. Someone else is saying your brand is good or worthy of trust.
An organic presence will elicit more curiosity from people. Take the example of the company CEO being part of a panel discussion in a media interview. The interview generates tons of interest and shares across multiple platforms.
Viewers will most likely search for more information about the speakers. The result is more traffic to the company website and other online platforms. More traffic means chances of capturing more leads.
2. Build authority with PR for good rankings
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy that aims at achieving good rankings on the search engine.
Newsworthy, relevant content generates interest. Further, audiences find such information easier to consume than advertisements. By providing value, you resonate better with the audience.
Now, here is what will happen. Every time the audience wants industry-related news, they will turn to you. You become an authority in your industry, and it also provides an opportunity for link building. That means more traffic to your online platforms.
The search engines will start to take note. With consistency, it will pay off in the form of good rankings.
Now, what do good rankings mean for the brand and sales? Well, appearing on the top results increases visibility. Think about the typical online user. How many people go to pages two and beyond when searching for information? Only 25% will go past the first page.
Utilizing PR to optimize for the search engines can generate tons of leads. The sales development representatives can then qualify them before passing them to sales for final conversion.
3. Third-party endorsement generates leads
Do you know how powerful third-party endorsement is? Well, 67% of shoppers say customer reviews play a significant role in their decision to buy or leave a product. 81% will do an online search before buying.
It could explain why influencer marketing is so powerful. Such people have followers who trust what they say. If they say your brand is good, they will buy your products.
PR also utilizes user reviews and testimonials to push products.
So what about dealing with negative reviews? Many companies will rush to delete such. But, that is not the way to go about it.
Put a positive spin on such to show customers you are listening. It is an opportunity to talk about the steps you are taking to improve your offering. Such honesty and transparency will work well for the brand.
PR can help boost sales by taking care of the most fundamental aspect of creating trust. It is not about pushing brand or product messaging. Rather, the teams create value and connect with customers at an emotional level.
PR provides a subtle yet impactful way of talking to customers. The right tactics will generate visibility, position the brand as an authority and build crucial relationships. All these are the tools you need to boost sales.